AN AMAZING GIFT
I sat in church Sunday night feeling like a small child feels the night before Christmas. This service was planned to give the young people an opportunity to commit their lives to missions. More, our friends were committed to raising prayer and financial support for the puppet ministry. They planned to announce the amount that was pledged on Sunday night.
To be honest, I thought: "This is a Bible school. It is Eastern Europe. The staff are all missionaries and very few of those are Americans." I knew that our friends would be generous because during our time in Hungary they have consistently demonstrated a generous spirit. However, none of us expected what happened next.
When the final tally was announced, I was stunned! This small school of 50 students from 12 nations had pledged almost nine thousand dollars to help us reach children around the world for Jesus. Praise God!
I immediately began to wonder what could be done for world missions if Christian colleges in the United States held a mission’s conference and did an offering or faith promises for different ministries. If you are a college student or a college professor reading this email, please prayerfully consider what these young people and adults did this weekend. Their faithfulness has really challenged me!
THE CHILDREN OF HUNGARY
The hearts of the children of Hungary are under attack. Like children anywhere else in western countries, they watch too much TV. The average is 4 to 6 hours a day, with some children watching much more.
Our friend presented many clips from 1 of the most popular cartoons in Hungary. There is a disclaimer at the beginning of it that says it is for those 18 years or older, but all of the children watch it. I was shocked at the images that he showed us. Even by American standards, they were extremely violent, horribly graphic, and not even appropriate for adults to watch.
Our friend also went and bought teen magazines. He found out that everyone reads the magazine that is for the next age group, not the one recommended for them. It is the same in America. He was shocked to discover that very young teens were reading columns giving sexual advice. He asked why any teenager would need to read such things. Think about it- Do you know what your teenagers are reading?
Our friend finished his talk by making the following statements. He said "If children learn things that go against the will of God, they will also learn to stand against God." Please pray for God to protect the hearts and minds of the Hungarian children.
FUNNY ANIMAL SOUNDS & ICE CREAM
I am always entertained by the differences that we discover as we travel. Children make very different sounds for animals than the children in America would make. Here are 5 of my favorite Hungarian animal sounds.
Â A pig would say röf-röf (pronounced ruff ruff)
Â A rooster would say kukuriku (pronounced koo-koo-eree-koo)
Â A frog would say bre-ke-ke (pronounced brek-kee-kee)
Â A horse would say nyihaha (pronounced nee-haw-haw)
Â A duck would say háp-háp (pronounced hop-hop)
Ice cream is also very different. You can enjoy green apple or Smurf ice-cream, which is blue. Two friends told me about a special Christmas treat that is unique to Hungary. It has 2 layers, one is chocolate and the other tastes like you’re eating a Christmas tree!
I am not doing well learning Hungarian, but everyone else has learned some words. Billy can say please and thank you. Calah is also learning new words but Silvana is definitely the most gifted in language. Sam and I are struggling. Hungarian is one of the most difficult languages in the world to learn as it is not like any other language.
However, the other day we both learned some very interesting new words.
If I want to show respect to Sam, even though he is a younger man, I could say Sam Bacsi (pronounced bochii.) The way a younger person could address me is to say csokolom (pronounced choke-a-lom) ,which literally translates "I kiss your hand." Hungarian is an amazing language!
A CHILDREN’S SERMON
We have all been so encouraged by our time here in Hungary and the other night was a special blessing. Our friend Dave James spoke on Matthew 18:1-6 where Jesus’ friends, His disciples, were arguing about whom would be most important in heaven. Jesus invited a child to stand in their midst and said, "Who ever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven." Then Jesus said that if you receive a child in His name, you really received Him. Neither Sam nor I could remember another sermon that we had ever heard expressly devoted to the concept of child evangelism. Please pray for more people in Hungary, Ireland, America, and around the world to devote their lives to reaching children for Christ.
COUNT THE COST
Hudson Taylor was a pioneer missionary to China who understood what it meant to sacrifice for the sake of the Gospel. Our friend Al Konya, Director of WOL HUNGARY, told a large meeting room full of young people and adults about Hudson Taylor’s suffering and everyone was listening. He told us that as an old man, after enduring the death of his first wife and 4 of his 8 children, Hudson Taylor received the worst news.
The Boxer rebellion had swept across China. Of his fellow missionaries, 58 were dead, along with 21 of their children, and 23,000 Chinese believers. He said, "I can not read, I can not think, I can not pray, but I can trust." We are all so overwhelmed by the great need that we see among the children of Hungary and there is so much that we can not change, but we trust that the Father will call many to faith. I beg you to pray for these children, many of whom have no one to pray for them.
WE ARE STAYING IN A CASTLE
In 1989, Word of Life signed a 10 year lease agreement with a then Communist government for a castle in the village of Toalmas. If you looked at the pictures that we posted the first day, the large yellow house in the snow is the castle. The Communist’s required them to give a free week of summer camp to 400 Hungarian young people. Remember, all of this is happening before the wall ever came down, and before Hungary enjoyed the freedom it has today. Since then, they had bought the castle and done a lot of renovation. The buildings they have added to the property are simple and functional, but the castle is impressive. I confess to you that all of us are delighted that we have the amazing opportunity to stay in such a special place with a wonderful history. I’m sure the Count that built this as his summer home never imagined that it would be use to reach thousands of young people for Christ.
The so-called "Andrassy Castle" is really a large mansion that was once owned by the brother of a famous Hungarian Count named Gyula Andrassy. The Count that owned the castle was an avid horticulturist. Today there are a number of plants and trees growing on the 78 acre property that can be found no where else in Europe. In almost 2 decades of working with children, I have never stayed in such a nice place!
In Jesus, Linda for a very tired , but happy Hungarian Team